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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I just traded in a '00 CRV on a used, '04 Element EX AWD, at a local Honda dealership, over the weekend.

It has 127,400 miles on it, but knowing Honda's reputation for being a high mileage vehicle, that didn't bother me, as long as the previous owner did regular maintenance, which he did, and especially for the price, $10K. According to the maintenance records, the Element was both originally bought at that dealer, as well as serviced there, and the previous owner took very good care of it, w/regular visits. Other than some cracking of the vinyl on the driver's seat, which was fixed, the vehicle looks brand new, w/no dents. I suppose that's why the dealer didn't send it to an auction. It also has brand new Michelin tires on it. Oh, the windshield has a couple of stone hits, but no cracks, but I did get them to replace the windshield. There's also no record of the windshield ever having to be replaced, which is good. ;-)

With the battery, while working, I went and immediately bought a brand new one, a Duralast Gold, w/500 cold cranking Amps (625 cranking Amps), especially w/winter coming. The stock battery is something like 425 cranking amps, I believe.

I brought the vehicle into Honda Service today and had the engine oil and filter changed, having Moble 1 synthetic put in. The oil and filter had been already changed, but I wanted synthetic in it. I'm a big supporter of synthetic, having used it for years. I also had all the powertrain oils changed, the 5 Spd M/T and the rear differential. The anti-freeze was also changed, as well as the cab air filters.

Next month, will be the spark plugs, valve adjustments, and valve cover gasket. Then in December, I hope to go w/a new serpentine belt, water pump, and possibly the belt tensioner. The belt tensioner has a random faint hint of starting to squeal a little, like the bearing may be starting to go, so all this may be earlier.

With the mileage as it is, and w/no questions in my mind of things being done, even when not necessary, I just want to go straight through the vehicle. As you can see, I maybe go a lttle overboard on things, but then again, you treat it good, it'll treat you good, and besides, I drive offroad, nothing heavy, just logging roads, in the mountains of the Northwest, so that's the last place that I want to break down, and/or have any problems. ;-)

Oh, I use nothing but good quality gasoline, w/Chevron and it's Techron, being my preference, and Shell being number two. I just poured a bottle of Techron Fuel Treatment in w/a full tank of gas, for cleaning the fuel system.

Did I leave anything out? :)
 

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Talk about auto-management savvy, you got it covered. Can I hire you to look after me E? :D

Congrats on your new Element. What do you intend on using it for? Do you haul stuff, like camping gear up those logging roads, or do you have dogs? It's usually, sports gear, working gear or dogs. Let us know with some pictures of your E filled up with whatever.

I'm sure you're far too wise for this but don't hose out your Element, and the Home Depot Gutter Guard is a very wise and simple mod to do asap. There are threads posted on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Talk about auto-management savvy, you got it covered. Can I hire you to look after me E? :D

Congrats on your new Element. What do you intend on using it for? Do you haul stuff, like camping gear up those logging roads, or do you have dogs? It's usually, sports gear, working gear or dogs. Let us know with some pictures of your E filled up with whatever.

I'm sure you're far too wise for this but don't hose out your Element, and the Home Depot Gutter Guard is a very wise and simple mod to do asap. There are threads posted on it.

My camping and hiking gear, which I normally store in the back, which I did in my previous CRV. I now have more room to do that w/the Element, and not look like a mess in the back.

About people hosing the inside, are you serious, people have done it? :D

I'll do a search on that Home Depot Gutter Guard, thanks.

I've owned 4x4's for years, such as Jeeps, and when I bought and drove my previous AWD CRV, I was very impressed w/it's drivability on the offroads, especially in snow on the highways. I've climbed snow covered paved roads going up hills that I know my old Jeep even couldn't do. ;-)

The roof mounted ECAMPER caught my eye for the Element too, as a possibility in the future. I definitely will invest in one of those Honda Tailgate Cabana's, or the Tent, for the Element.

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
My first time sitting in traffic w/my new Element, w/a warm engine idling, I heard this random metalic squeal. I couldn't hear it driving, because of the road noise.

Anyway, when I got home, I opened the hood, w/the engine idling, I could hear the random metalic squeal, which appeared to be coming from the serpentine belt tensioner.

The following morning, it was pretty chilly, I start it up, and boy did I hear the squeal loud and clear. Something was failing. Once the engine warmed up, the noise went away.

After work I brought it to the dealer and had one of their mechanics listen, and they heard it, but weren't sure that it was the tensioner. He said it could maybe be the timing chain or the VTech (varible cam system) which Honda has some kind of a recall on, but only w/in the warranty period. :-( So I left it w/them in order to look at the following day. They plan to remove the serpentine belt in order to trace the noise down.

The following day, I learned that I was right, the bearing in the tensioner is going. What's also nice, is they are going to cover the cost of it, saving me some money there. ;-)

With the serpentine belt presently removed, I'm going to have it replaced, even though it doesn't need it, since it only cost around $30, part wise.

I decided to have the valves adjusted as well, and to have new spark plugs installed.

Unfortuniately, to replace the water pump, requires the removal of the timing chain cover, otherwise I would have replaced that as well. Normally the water pump is mounted on the outside, behind the belt, but I guess not.

Oh, I picked up one of those Home Depot Gutter Guards, w/some quick ties. If I have the time, I'll install it this weekend.



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Congrats on your new "E." :D Your being maintenance savvy will fit in well here.

It's always a good idea to inspect belt tensioner and idler pulleys with belt changes. I replace them at 100k, even if they make it that far before showing signs of failure. ;-)
 

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Welcome! And great start in thoroughly taking ownership of your E! The only other items I could think to check based on feedback around here would be the suspension parts. Obviously they seem to be okay at the moment but might be good to take a gander to prepare, especially on the rear end. Lots of info regarding struts, etc, on the forum.

The belt tensioner assembly was replaced under warranty on my 08 at 30k miles. It had started to chip away at the belt ever so slightly with a very light chirp noise every so often. Problem completely solved as of some 6k miles later still.

It's good to hear more of the stories regarding these light duty 4x4 setups vs the Jeeps, etc. Coming from ownership of several traditional 4x4's myself, I'm yet to really test the off roadability for my E but the few things I have done have shown flawless execution. It's making me a believer in these effective and simplified 4wd systems. Typical of Honda...

Looking forward to pics of the E in action. Have some fun and share!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm still getting a random metalic squeal in the engine on our cold mornings. The replacement of the belt tensioner made a noticeable difference. The bearing was clearly shot, but something else is going as well.

Anyway, I went back to the Honda dealer, and went to talk to the mechanic, who replaced my belt tensioner, directly, and I learned that he had also noticed that the alternator bearing may be going, and made note of it, but that communication never got to me, otherwise I would of had it replaced as well. We went and listened to my engine using a stethoscope device, and sure enough, it's what's going. Talking to the Service Manager about the mis-communication, I've got them to agree to cover the labor costs for installing a new alternator.

So hopefully, this is the end of it for a while. I've got all the Sceduled Service Work updated, for my records, except for the brake fuid, which will be done next month.

Don't get me wrong, w/over 128,000 miles on my Element now, I do expect things to wear out and need replacing, so I'm trying to get those known wearable items replaced, and out of the way. ;-)

I'm really happy w/my Element purchase. It drives great, has a lot more power than my old CRV G1 did, though not as much as my Porsche Cayman S has. :D

Anyway, I'm getting my alternator replaced tomorrow w/a brand new one. Boy they're expensive, costing like $350 for a brand new one.


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Unfortuniately, to replace the water pump, requires the removal of the timing chain cover...
This is not true. There is no need to remove the timing chain case to replace the water pump on an E. In my opinion, there is no need to replace the water pump on an E unless it is bad, ie: noisy / worn / leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is not true. There is no need to remove the timing chain case to replace the water pump on an E. In my opinion, there is no need to replace the water pump on an E unless it is bad, ie: noisy / worn / leaking.
With everything taken apart for the replacement of the serpentine belt and the belt tensioner, I asked w/everything being removed, if I should just as well replace the water pump as well, as a preventative measure, and was told that the chain cover needed to be removed.

When I replaced my CAM driven belt on my G1 CRV, w/everything removed, I replaced the pump w/that one as a preventative measure w/the anti-freeze. Of course the pump was only $50 if I recall.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got my alternator replaced, and finally that engine runs nice and quiet. You can't hardly hear the engine running. It's nothing like my G1 CRV. :D


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